Using the right gear and lures equals good results
Most times, September means great fishing for largemouth bass with topwater action at night and early mornings in the Yuma area, especially at Colorado River waters.
The right gear can really make a difference to detect the slightest change in feel that occurs when a bass takes your plastic worm or other artificial bait.
Try using fishing line light enough that allows you to cast a wide range of lure weights but small enough to keep the bass from seeing it in clear water. The proper weight of line will give you a maximum feel as well as adequate strength.
Keep your eyes locked on the line where it penetrates the water’s surface in order to catch line movement or tension change. Keep hooks sharp and the slack out of your line so you can set the hook quickly.
For open-water fishing, anglers suggest trying 6-pound test for quarterounce lures, 8-pound test for 3-ounce lures and 10-pound for half-ounce lures. For weedy, brushy cover, raise these line tests by four pounds each.
Mouths of river channels going into lakes, shorelines with abundant growth and points with nearby dropoffs can be good choices for topwater and while calm waters may work best for topwater plugs, it also works in rougher water as long as the lure is noisy to magnify its presence. Be sure to retrieve slow and steady when the cast is to a shallow water structure — often the fish will strike during a pause in the retrieve. If this doesn’t work, vary the speed between fast and slow — and always keep the slack out of your line.
As the weather gets a bit cooler, bass tend to begin hiding out in heavy cover such as dense weeds, brush piles, fallen trees and reedy shorelines that will bring on a variety of tactics to bring results.
Also try an in-line spinnerbait such as the Snagless Sally, the lead-head jig or a Texas-style 12-inch plastic worm — check with dealers for other lures also having a big appetite appeal for bass. Or if you like to fish crankbaits, use the sinking type — the lipped or lipless kinds that descend vertically to remain close to waiting bass.
A neutral buoyancy lure made by Rebel, Smithwick and Storm that is weighted to sink so slow it appears suspended, is also worth trying. Suspendots or metallic stick-ons can be added to make a floating lure sink, plus alter its action from a wide wiggle to a narrow one.
With an in-line spinner, the blades cause the lure to wobble off center, ideal for activating a pork or frog trailer. Retrieve only fast enough to revolve the spinner and bring it through heavy cover.
For leadhead jigs, use a 1- to 2-ounce leadhead with a soft plastic curly tail or crayfish body. Cast high over thick weeds and let the heavy body fall through thick cover to the bottom. Work it with gentla twitches of your rod tip to give it good up and down motion.
Soft plastic worms can be worked over and through the thickest weeds. Try activating the lures to imitate the crawling, wiggling, darting movements of frogs and crawdads. The foot-long giant worm is very attractive to whopper bass. Work them with a 6/0 worm hook over the surface. Because they are heavy, no additional weight is needed for them to wiggle over, in and along dense cover They also work well Texasrigged with a 3/9-ounce sinker.
Don’t hesitate to visit dealers in town and check over what they have to offer. Because their work is with local fishermen, they, most times, are full of tips and advice on what may work well and techniques to try — they can also give you some clues on where to fish this time of year for best results. Fishing with bass clubs in town works well, too, with most fishermen willing to share their knowledge gained through fishing so much at Yuma areas.
• ABA American Bass – Yuma division: If you haven’t fished the Yuma area ABA tournaments, they will begin when weather cools. Call Jeff Woods at (952) 824-0553 for information on becoming a member and get signed up to fish.
• The Desert Draw Series Bass Fishing Club: The new club is being formed by Michael Obney who will hold a meet and greet at 1 p.m. Oct. 14 for interested fishermen and ladies at his home, 11229 E. 24th Place (south side of I-8, off Fortuna Blvd. in the Foothills). Call Mike at (928) 750-7081 with your questions.
• Yuma’s High School Bass Fishing Club: A great way for any youngster to learn all about fishing for bass. Members of both the Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club and Desert Bass Anglers assist the kids in providing boats and equipment as well as guide the youngsters, both guys and gals, in gaining fishing know-how’s. Call Terry Hurt, school sponsor, at 580-6567 or visit StudentAnglerFoundation.com to get started.
• Boating and watercraft regulation changes aimed at increasing customer service and public safety on Arizona’s waterways now in effect: The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved the amendments to the state’s Article 5 rules, which outline boating and water sports regulations and fees, at its April 7 meeting. The Governor’s Regulatory Review Council approved the proposed changes on June 6, and recommended as part of a legally required five-year review of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s administrative rules.
The following are among the changes in effect now: Increases the valid time frame for a temporary certificate from 30 to 45 days, and allows a watercraft agent to issue a temporary certificate with the sale of a used watercraft. Persons will no longer be allowed to rent or lease personally registered watercraft, unless the watercraft is registered as a livery business. A placard must be affixed to the watercraft being rented or leased that displays the business name and telephone number. Requires a wake surfer to wear a personal flotation device and an operator ensures an observer is watching if a person is being towed behind the watercraft and/or surfing a wake created by the watercraft. Prohibits teak surfing, which is pulling a person from a vessel’s swim platform. Requires towing companies to notify the owner/lien holder they have taken possession of a vessel within 15 days of obtaining the information from the department. Makes the owner financially responsible for the towing and storage of a watercraft illegally moored.
Fees are watercraft transfer fee to $13, duplicate decal and certificate number fee to $8, dealer certificate of number fee to $20, establish an abandoned/unreleased watercraft application fee of $100, transfer of ownership of a towed watercraft application fee to $100. This is the first time watercraft fees have increased in more than 30 years. For more information on boating in Arizona or to sign up for a safety course, visit www.azgfd.gov/boating.
• Hunt Arizona Game and Fish accepting applications for 2017 Heritage Fund grants: The Arizona Game and Fish Department is accepting applications for more than $400,000 in Heritage Fund grants.
The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m. Oct. 31, to be eligible for grant funding, which will be available through a competitive application process in the following categories: environmental education, outdoor education, schoolyard habitat, urban wildlife/habitat, public access; and Identification, Inventory, Acquisition, Protection and Management (IIAPM).
In addition to government agencies, the department welcomes nonprofit organizations to apply for a Heritage Grant as eligible applicants. This eligibility applies to any nonprofit group which meets the internal revenue service definition of a 501(c) organization.
The Heritage Fund was created after voters approved an initiative in 1990 and is funded through Arizona Lottery ticket sales. Heritage funding goes toward conservation efforts such as protecting endangered species, educating students and the general public about wildlife and the outdoors, and creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The grant program was established by AZGFD in 1992 as part of the overall Heritage Fund program. The grants were initially developed as a way to promote outreach to enhance important partnerships and generate fresh approaches in support of the department’s mission. Since the grant program’s inception, the department has awarded more than $16 million and supported more than 800 projects throughout the state.
Applicants for this year’s grants should refer to the documents on our Heritage Grant webpage for guidance on applying. The documents include the Heritage Grant application manual, the grant application form and the various “Heritage Grant Funding Window” documents, which describe eligibility information and provide specific eligibility criteria listed within each grant sub-category. Potential grant recipients must have a project that is either located in Arizona or involves research in which the wildlife or its habitat is located in the state.
• Yuma 4-H Shooting Sports: A reminder that the 2017-18 training season for 4-H youngsters ages 9-19 will begin Thursday at the 4-H extension office with a 7 to 8 p.m. class to sign up, take a safety class with questions/answers about the year’s project. At that time, the youngsters will pay a one time $10 fee for consumables. Actual training will begin 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the west gate of the Yuma County Fairgrounds with other training times to follow. If you have a youngster who is interested in being a part of a 4-H club in order to get into their shooting sports program, call the 4-H office in Yuma at 726-3904 or Stanley Gourley at 344-0740 to learn what they offer.
• Renegade Archers of Yuma: There will be a 3D animal shoot setup and ready to shoot by 7:30 a.m. today, open to all archers at the Foothills Archery Range, east of Foothills Blvd., south side of I-8. Call Kevin at 726-0953 or Jean at 247-4450 more information and directions to the range. If you would like to shoot archery but don’t yet know how, give us a call so we can bring bows and arrows along for you to use with instructions always free. We’ll assist in your learning. The practice range at the Foothills Archery Range is open (free use) daylight hours all week for your much-needed practice and enjoyment. Do what you can to prevent vandalism while at the range so all can enjoy.
• Yuma Trap and Skeet Club: Anyone interested in trap and skeet can shoot 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays. It’s summer hours still so no weekday matches until fall. Call Bob Avila at (928) 919-0622.
• Yuma Territorial Longrifles Club: Open black powder matches at the Adair Park range, 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. Call Roger Bickel at 726-7453. Ask about .22 matches.
• Cholla Gun Club: A a full schedule of shooting is offered at the Adair Park metallic silhouette range, beginning again this fall, and all open to the public with instructions available upon need. Call Rick Kelley at (928) 502-0736.
• High Power Rifle and Pistol Club of Yuma: 3X 600 mid-range matches at the Adair Park big bore (high power) range will be held Oct. 14 with the vintage rifle matches on Oct. 21. Pistol matches scheduled for 2017 are cancelled as of now but we may resume them in 2018. Call Joseph Murek at 627-4556, Paul Lerma at 580-7456 or Gerald Brooker at (858) 349-1311. Visit the club website at hprifleyuma.com. or e-mail Joe at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Yuma Matchmasters: A variety of matches are offered each month at the Adair Park small bore range, all open to shooters at 7 a.m. with the steel challenge the 1st Saturday, multi-gun matches the 1st Sunday, IPSC combat matches the 2nd Sunday, cowboy fast draw the 3rd Saturday and SASS cowboy matches the 4th Saturday. Call Irene Snyder at (209) 613-4598 or George Wagner at (719) 660-9466 with questions.
• Southwest Bowhunters Archery Club: Archery is offered on Sundays with their practice range also open all week. Call Keith Parsels at 7821097.
Contact Jean Wilson at jeanrenegade@ gmail.com or call 247-4450.
A MAN SITS IN a chair with his fishing pole, his dog by his side, on one of the man-made jetties at Mittry Lake, located northeast of Yuma along the Colorado River above Laguna Dam.